Want to Join 1199?

BREAKING: Home care workers at Medical Resources Vote to Unionize Despite Illegal Management Tactics

June 30, 2015
Following historic Fight for $15 victory for Personal Care Attendants, workers at Medical Resources Home Health Corp. have voted to join 1199SEIU

BOSTON, MA (June 30, 2015) – Inspired by Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) who won a $15 wage in negotiations with the state just last week, a separate group of 236 impoverished and exploited private home care agency workers have voted to unionize – despite a vicious, illegal anti-union campaign waged by executives at Medical Resources Home Health Corp.

After winning the union election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, the Medical Resources employees become the first private home care agency employees to form a union in Massachusetts as part of the growing Fight for $15 movement. The vote is part of wave of momentum for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Fight for $15, following last week’s agreement between the state’s 35,000 PCAs and Governor Charlie Baker ensuring a pathway to a starting wage of $15 per hour.

With offices on Boylston Street in the heart of Boston, Medical Resources has been a long-time purveyor of poverty wages, paying workers on average $10-$12 per hour while funneling profits to its New York-based ownership group. Meanwhile, Medical Resource Home Health Corp. receives $22 per client hour in Massachusetts taxpayer funding. Medical Resources is owned by Angelo, Gordon, Co., one of the largest and wealthiest private equity firms in the nation.

"As home care workers we are asking only for that which is right – a fair wage and the ability to continue caring for our clients while also being able to care for our own families," said Ling Zhu Cao, a Medical Resource employee from Malden, MA.

"We have joined 1199SEIU and the Fight for $15 because as home care workers we want a living wage, a voice at work, and dignity for ourselves and our clients,” added her co-worker, Kirsis Nina of Dorchester, MA.

Right now, nearly all of the 236 caregivers at Medical Resources are eligible for food stamps, subsidized housing, or subsidized health insurance. The workforce is almost entirely comprised of minority women, many of whom care for elderly clients in Boston’s historic Chinatown neighborhood. As the newest members of 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East, the state’s fastest-growing union, those workers will now be able to collectively bargain for pay increases and meaningful benefits.

“This victory is a testament to the courage of these homecare workers and in no way excuses the illegal tactics used by executives at Medical Resources during the vote,” said Veronica Turner, 1199SEIU Executive Vice President. “The idea that one of the nation’s wealthiest private equity firms would be spending so many patient care dollars trying to intimidate, harass, and suppress the rights of these caregivers is reprehensible. We will be calling on all of our community and elected allies to continue standing with these caregivers so we can ensure that today marks the end of the wasteful, oppressive anti-union campaign waged by executives from Medical Resources and Angelo, Gordon.”

Through a series of rallies, letter-writing campaigns, and an online petition to company executives, workers across the state united behind the Medical Resources caregivers and their cause in recent months – demanding that Medical Resources end their vicious attempts to sway the vote. Now that they have secured the right to unionize, workers intend to file federal charges against company executives for their strong-arm tactics.

# # #

Representing more than 52,000 healthcare workers throughout Massachusetts and nearly 400,000 workers across the East Coast, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all. 1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union.

LATEST NEWS

  • BOSTON, MA (March 9, 2017) – Congressional Republicans’ attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – will be Read More
  • Ayer, MA (March 8, 2017) – Technical healthcare workers at Nashoba Valley Medical Center have overwhelmingly signed on to join 1199SEIU Un Read More
  • This is a survey that will be used to establish goals for our 2017 bargaining campaign. Your opinions are very important so please take a f Read More
  • On Thursday, March 2, 85 technical workers at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, MA joined 1199SEIU through a card check recognition pro Read More
  • March is Women's History Month when we take time to reflect and honor women – from throughout our history up to today – who have helped Read More
  • “Western New York’s Congressman Chris Collins, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, is one of se Read More
  • "Unfortunately, much of the discussion around healthcare in the President’s address to Congress last night was spent rehashing misleading Read More
  • Healthcare workers say working people cannot let ourselves be divided by ignorance, fear and hate, but must unite for a fair economy and pro Read More
  • Press Conference Today: Recently released Congressional Health Plan could place needed healthcare services at risk. WHEN: Friday, February Read More
  • Extreme right-wing elected officials in Congress are determined to eliminate affordable, quality healthcare. Their actions would cause 30 mi Read More
  • Alarmed by Threats to Healthcare Funding, Healthcare Workers and Allies Are Standing up Read More
  • The following is a statement from Tyrék D. Lee, Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, on the withdrawal Read More